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Black Friday: the most relevant trends in UNGUESS and Scalapay research
Over 1,500 interviews in Italy, France and Spain to investigate elements such as spending capacity, purchasing intentions, favourite products and habits
Over 1,500 interviews in Italy, France and Spain to investigate elements such as spending capacity, purchasing intentions, favourite products and habits. With a focus on the environmental impact of online shopping
The environment is a well-known issue, which - fortunately - is being discussed more and more. In fact, everyone in our own small way is trying to be more careful, not least because the effects of global warming are now unfortunately well known. There are those who decide to follow a more plant-based diet, those who buy mostly local, and those who are careful not to overdo it with heating and air conditioning. One would think, therefore, that there is also more attention paid to shopping, also because online shopping, for example, generates as much as 7% of greenhouse gas emissions.
Unfortunately, this is not entirely the case, as demonstrated by the recent survey conducted by UNGUESS (https://unguess.io/it/), a company active in the crowdsourcing sector for testing digital services, and Scalapay (https://www.scalapay.com/it), Southern Europe's leading fintech player in the Buy Now Pay Later market.
This is demonstrated by a recent survey conducted by UNGUESS and Scalapay, Southern Europe's leading fintech player in the Buy Now Pay Later market.
According to the survey, only 12% of Italians take the environmental impact of purchases seriously, a percentage in line with Spain (11%) and France (17%). Overall, in all three countries, the most attentive to the issue were GenZ youngsters, with Boomers aged 59 and over at the tail end. It is also unfortunate to see that there are people who will not consider environmental issues at all when shopping on Black Friday: in all three countries, 9.98% of respondents to the survey, a low but still significant percentage.
But not only attention to the environment: the analysis by UNGUESS and Scalapay also looked at further parameters, aimed at deepening - even more generally - the sentiment of Italians, Spaniards and French towards this eagerly awaited Shopping Day. Particular attention was paid to Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), an innovative and constantly growing payment method that allows consumers to make immediate purchases and pay in instalments, without interest. A major theme to which a specific focus was devoted in the research.
Planned purchases or 'if I see something, I buy'?
In 74% of cases, respondents said they prefer to plan their purchases, with an average spending budget of EUR 238 for Italy, EUR 273 for Spain and as much as EUR 309 for France. Leading the way are the Millennials who will spend the most: on average more than EUR 272 per person.
In comparison with other countries, Italians seem to be those who plan less, and at the same time use Black Friday purchases to anticipate Christmas presents much less than their French neighbours do.
But when it comes to the budget available, not everyone will want to spend the same amount as last year, on the contrary: 19% of Italians said they wanted to spend less, as did 31% of the French and 18% of the Spanish. "In short, between inflation and increased spending, not everyone can devote the same resources to shopping as in previous years, although the largest percentage of respondents said they would like to spend more or less the same amount," comments Alessandro Caliandro, Head of UX at UNGUESS.
The Buy Now Pay Later: a support for budget management
The research also analysed people's habits and preferences with respect to the adoption of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) as an instalment shopping tool.
Interest in using BNPL solutions on the upcoming Black Friday involves about half of Italian respondents (52%), exceeding the percentages recorded in France (42%) and Spain (36%). This figure, on the other hand, reflects the fact that 40% of Italians have already adopted BNPL in the past, a significantly higher share than the prevalence among the French (28%) and Spanish (27%).
The survey also highlighted the convergence of opinions among the various countries involved, especially regarding the perception of BNPL, which, according to two-thirds of respondents, is an effective aid for better management of one's budget. Furthermore, the majority of consumers expressed a preference for using BNPL over the option of charging purchases to their credit card or resorting to forms of financing.
The analysis also revealed that flexibility in the choice of payment frequency, such as monthly or weekly, is an important element in the adoption of BNPL solutions. This feature is particularly significant for about three out of four individuals, with no geographical differences.
And when in doubt about the choice of BNPL? Matching it with a specific offer or promotion can be a key lever
When do you mainly shop? Morning, afternoon or evening?
In this case, it is interesting to note that there are different habits in each country: in France, shopping is preferred in the morning (46.36%), in Italy in the evening (37.53%), and in Spain in the afternoon (45.79%).
Online vs. offline: the web wins
In the vast majority of cases, respondents stated that they will only shop online: we are talking about 52.77% of French respondents, 71.72% of Italian respondents and 51.32% of Spanish respondents. On a generational level, it is GenZ who are the most likely to shop in shops (15.98%), along with Boomers (15.94%). However, we are talking about percentages that - when compared with the willingness to buy online - remain much lower.
The disappearance of tablets among browsing devices: the smartphone wins (49.50%, followed by the PC (47.38&%)
Smartphones are preferred mainly by Millennials (52.97%) and GenX (49.26%); while Boomers (68.97%) and GenZ (50%) prefer to use PCs.
"It was very interesting to carry out this analysis because it allowed us to highlight data that we had not imagined, for example we noted that the average user generally does not pay too much attention to the environmental impact of purchases made online, in contrast to recent years in which the issue of sustainability has taken the upper hand in all sectors," says Caliandro. "Another interesting fact is instead the abandonment of the tablet for online purchases, which today are instead made and planned mainly on smartphones. This certainly brings to the surface, once again, the importance of designing increasingly mobile-friendly websites, as everything is now organised on this small screen. In addition, the survey shows that each age group has its own characteristics and needs, so it is essential when designing a service to imagine its target audience in order to create a shopping experience totally in line with the end users."
"In a constantly evolving landscape, it is crucial that we continue to strive to deepen our understanding of consumer preferences. This drives us to continuously offer innovative solutions in line with their changing needs that help redefine the shopping experience, especially in e-commerce. The data that have emerged clearly show that awareness of Buy Now Pay Later has taken centre stage in purchasing decisions. It is now considered a valuable tool to improve budget management by offering a flexible and convenient payment option. This option will be a key support for those wishing to take advantage of Black Friday deals, making the shopping experience even more sustainable and rewarding,"comments Simone Mancini, CEO of Scalapay.
Founded in 2015 within the 'Mobile Lab' research centre of the Politecnico di Milano from an idea of three former students - Edoardo Vannutelli, Filippo Maria Renga and Luca Manara, today CEO of the startup - UNGUESS was the first in Italy to use crowdtesting methodology to optimise the quality, safety and user experience of companies' digital products and services. Thanks to the crowd and the integrated technology platform, UNGUESS is able to quickly and effectively offer tests, insights and feedback that are relevant because they come from highly involved real people and a wide variety of available digital devices and interfaces. The UNGUESS commercial offer is based on three principles: 1. the support offered to the customer throughout the entire digital development and optimisation cycle: from the quality and proper functioning of the software, to the security of the released digital solutions, to the analysis of the User and Customer Experience; 2. a high level of engagement and support provided by both the crowd and UNGUESS professionals; 3. a flexible and scalable pricing model based on consumption tokens.
In January 2023, UNGUESS closed a capital increase of more than EUR 10 million led by Fondo Italiano d'Investimento SGR, through the Fondo Italiano Tecnologia e Crescita - "FITEC" in which P101 SGR also participated with its two vehicles: Programma 102 and ITA500, managed under delegation for Azimut, Italian Angels for Growth (IAG), Club degli Investitori e Club Italia Investimenti 2.
 The survey involved 1500 participants: 500 in Italy, 500 in France and 500 in Spain.